Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates; A quick overview
Food contains macronutrients - carbohydrates, fat and protein - which are required in large amounts in the diet. These macronutrients provide us with energy for exercise and daily life activites. They also provide the building blocks necessary to make hormones, repair tissues, and keep the body working properly! A healthy diet contains a balance of all three macronutrients. Learn more about carbohydrates, fats and proteins in our quick guide below!
Protein Quick Facts:
● Protein contains 4 calories per 1 gram
● Protein is not a primary source of energy compared to fat and carbohydrates
● Protein is broken down in the body into smaller molecules called animo acids
● The body uses animo acids to repair tissues, to function and to gro
● Muscle, skin, connective tissue are all made of protein components
● The average adult requires 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight minimum!
● Athletes and those looking to build muscle may need 1.5-2g of protein per kg bodyweight
● Animal sources of protein include pork, beef, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products
● Plant sources of protein include tofu, hemp hearts, soy, tempeh, nuts and seeds
Fats Quick Facts:
● Fats contain the most energy of any macronutrient at 9 calories per gram!
● Fats are the body’s primary source of fuel at rest and during long duration or endurance exercise
● Fats are broken down in the body into fatty acids and glycerol
● Important fatty acids include Omega-3 and Omega-6 and optimal health requires balanced consumption of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
● Excess fat in the diet is stored in the abdomen, under the skin and around the organs
● There are different types of healthy fats; monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats
● A healthy diet contains regular consumption of monosaturated fats from avocados, olive oil and almonds
● A healthy diet contains a moderate amount of saturated fats from meats, dairy, and coconut oil
● A healthy diet contains Omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed, lake trout, mackerel, salmon, herring, tuna, green leafy vegetables, walnuts
● A healthy diet contains Omega-6 fatty acids from fish oils, eggs yolks, and some vegetable oils.
● Transfats are found in commercially baked foods such as cookies, crackers, french fries, margarine and potatoes chips and should be avoided completely!
Carbohydrates Quick Facts:
● There are 4 calories in each gram of carbohydrates
● Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the brain and during intense exercise
● All carbs, healthy and unhealthy, are eventually broken down into simple glucose molecules
● There are two types of carbohydrates; simple or sugary carbohydrates and complex carbohyrdates
● Simple carbohydrates are digested quickly and in excess are converted to fat in the body
● Complex carbohydrates are slow digesting, contain more fibre, and are better for weight control
● Simple carbohyrdates include fruit juices, all sugars, cereals, and anything with white flour
● Complex carbohyrdates include oatmeal, yams, brown rice, quinoa, and whole grains
● Carbohyrdates are neccessary for energy and are best if consumed before and after exercise